Answer each of the following in a sentence or two.
- In the opening paragraph, describing Julien’s relationship with his mother, Flannery O’Connor writes: “Julien did not like to consider all that she did for him.” Why would he prefer not to consider his mother’s sacrifices for him?
- Julien thinks to himself:Since this had been a fashionable neighbourhood forty years ago, his mother persisted in thinking they did well to have an apartment in it.” Why would his mother need to think that way?
- What good qualities in his mother does Julien overlook?
- Julien’s mother says of the blacks’ change in status: “They should rise, yes, but on their own side of the fence.” What is obviously wrong with her statement?
- Julien sees himself as “free of prejudice and unafraid to face facts.” Give one instance that shows his own prejudice or his preference for fantasy over reality.
- What is the black woman’s prejudice and how is it expressed?
Discuss the ideas raised by Flannery O’Connor about individual perceptions of reality. How does Julien’s world differ from his mother’s? What is the black woman’s view of the world? Whose is the “real” world?